INS Sindhuratna mishap: Two missing Naval officers found dead

Two naval officers were killed aboard accident-stricken submarine INS Sindhuratna, authorities confirmed.

Last Updated: Feb 27, 2014, 16:17 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Mumbai: Two sailors, who went missing on Wednesday on the accident-hit INS Sindhuratna submarine, are confirmed to be dead.

INS Sindhuratna reached Mumbai coast this morning and sealed compartments were opened where Lt Commander Kapish Muwal and Lt Manoranjan Kumar were believed to be trapped.

"The two officers who were earlier declared missing have been located in the compartment and after examination by medical officers both the officers were declared dead," said a Defence Ministry press release.

Meanwhile, an inquiry into the mishap - the tenth in the recent times - will be headed by a Rear Admiral-rank officer. The officer will also look into earlier submarine mishaps as well, added the Navy.

"A high-level inquiry headed by an officer of Rear Admiral-rank has been constituted and has immediately commenced its proceedings to establish the cause of all (submarine) incidents and to recommend steps for continuing safe operations of submarines," a statement by the Western Naval Command said.

An official said the condition of the submarine has been described as safe.

Seven Indian Navy personnel were injured and at least two had gone missing on Wednesday after smoke filled a compartment in the INS Sindhuratna submarine that was underwater.

There were 94 sailors on board the submarine when smoke was reported in the sailors` accommodation early Wednesday, about 50 nautical miles (80 km) in the Arabian Sea.
Seven sailors were airlifted by helicopter and shifted in an unconscious state to the naval hospital, INS Asvini, in south Mumbai. Their condition is reported to be stable.

A Western Naval Command release said the submarine was "at sea off Mumbai for routine training and workup (inspection)".

Refitted and renovated in Mumbai in December 2013, the INS Sindhuratna was on a training exercise to familiarise the crew with operations of the Russian-built vessel.
The vessel was underwater at the time of the incident and it was not fitted with weapons of any kind as it was on a training and familiarisation mission.

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The worst accident involved the fire on the INS Sindhurakshak and the subsequent sinking of the submarine in the Mumbai harbour on August 14 last year, killing all 18 personnel aboard.

(With IANS inputs)